From a scrimmage against a "picked team of Princeton men" on Weston's Mill Pond, Rutgers Ice Hockey was born. The year was 1892 and a long tradition had started. It was to be a "polo" match with skates because the University did not have a hockey team at the time. Rutgers won 4-2 (of course) and a return game was planned, but the ice thawed too quickly that season. Not having a rink to call its own has been a recurring theme for Rutgers Ice Hockey since 1892.
Making the move to indoor hockey was difficult. A disastrous loss to Princeton in 1940 was attributed to the team's inexperience with rebounds and bounces off the boards; not something you worry about with pond hockey. Through the years the team played at the Orange Ice Palace and the Monte Carlo Ice Rink in Asbury Park (a converted swimming pool). The lack of local facilities led to the demise of the team in the late 1950's.
In September 1960 the Rutgers Ice Hockey Club was reborn, and was finally recognized as a Rutgers sport for the first time. The 1961 team was on the verge of elevating to Varsity status, however it would not come to pass. Despite the enthusiasm and a rigorous schedule against top teams in the country at the time (Army, UPenn, Harvard, Lafayette, Worchester), a rink was not built on campus and the Varsity push did not continue.
The 1998-1999 season found Rutgers Hockey again pushing the envelope as the newest member of the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) Division 1, the premier conference for "club hockey" in the country, and the Eastern Collegiate Hockey Association (ECHA). By the end of the season, Rutgers had their first ever ACHA All-American and ECHA All-Star (Andy Gojdycz) and their first ever ACHA Academic All-American. In 2012 Rutgers moved into the highly competitive Eastern States Collegiate Hockey League (ESCHL) where they compete against the University of Delaware, Stony Brook University, West Chester University, University of Rhode Island and Lebanon Valley College.
Whether known as the Raritan Redmen (1920's), the Scarlet Pucksters (1930's), the Scarlet Stickmen (1960's) or today's Ice Knights, these competitive and passionate men have kept ice hockey alive and well at Rutgers for over a century. With Rutgers joining the Big Ten Athletic Conference in 2014, there is a level of optimism that the program will continue to evolve in the future.